Monday, September 17, 2012

GUTGAA Pitch Contest #21: MIRE

YA paranormal mystery


Most teens would do anything to have a celebrity parent. Diya would do anything to give hers up.

Adopted from an Indian slum as an infant by her movie star mother, she's grown up, amidst whippings and alcoholic meltdowns, into a sixteen-year-old with prematurely thick skin and a deep hatred for her abusive mom. Seventeen-year-old Matthew grew up in a different type of family – the Seer's disciples. He guards a powerful crystal with the ability to control minds, a crystal entrusted to Matt's grandfather by his Indian Seer.

When Diya crashes her car en route to her aunt's house, Matthew hauls her out of the wreck and recognizes Diya for who she is – the Seer's granddaughter. He needs her help to find the missing mind control crystal and trap a murderer.

Someone's using the crystal to force people to kill themselves and masking the murders as suicides. And Matt knows Diya is the only person who can reverse the crystal's power. If he can convince her of her true identity.

But Diya's not too keen to believe anyone, however hot he is. Plus, she has her own list of murder suspects. And, Matt, with his unusual abilities, is way up at the top.

But when her aunt is nearly killed, the threat hits home. Now the teens have to pool their abilities to try and outsmart the killer, before he figures out who they are and destroys them first.

First 150 Words:

Most kids would do anything to have a movie star parent, but as far as Diya was concerned, having a celebrity parent was way over-rated. If she had the choice between Miranda and being stranded on a deserted island without Wi-Fi, she knew what she'd pick.

That thought echoed in her mind, as she found herself in yet another staring stand-off with her mother across the length of the humongous dining table. Miranda’s hard face rivaled the cold wooden surface of the table.

Diya took a deep breath and counted to ten, waiting for the familiar explosion. And then it came.

“You’re not going anywhere, you brat. You owe me.” Miranda's skin stretched tight over high cheekbones, courtesy of the most popular plastic surgeon in LA. Any more stretching, and it would rip right down the middle. “I want you at the benefit.”


  1. Hi there!

    Congrats on making it into GUTGAA!

    I love the premise to this story. It reminds me a lot of Disney's Jessie. And I'm WAY fond of multicultural stories.

    There were a few things that pulled me from the query. It seems a bit long to me. Perhaps you can cut it back a bit and tell us the main points in their bare bones. Also I think your first 150 may be stronger if you started with "Miranda's hard face reviled . . .", and cut everything before that. It would bring the reader right into the story.

    Thank you so much for sharing! Wish you the best.

    1. By reviled I meant rivaled. Man I can't type

  2. I agree - the premise is great but the query is too long.

  3. This premise is fun and the opening hooks. I love the multicultural feel and the mind-control bit. Good luck!

  4. PITCH: The first line had me hooked, as well as the information on Diya’s background and home life, but then the lead-up to the last paragraph takes too long and includes too many details, which can be easily remedied. Also, her awful home life seems to have very little to do with the rest of the story, so I’m wondering if that part should be the part to go?
    FIRST 150: These are excellent. Diya’s voice shines through, and we get very quick, very telling details about her life and her mom immediately. Conflict set up right from the start.

  5. Thanks, everyone. This was a wonderful experience. I will definitely shorten that query. Boy, writing queries is taking more time than writing the book.

    1. Haha, have you had to write a synopsis yet? I think those are even harder. Good luck - you'll get it. And you'll nail the synopsis too, when it comes to that.